Pokemon Go is getting kids out of the house and walking. Some parents love that. But of course, it’s hard not to be concerned, especially when it’s kids who go out there to catch ‘em all.
Pokemon Go, in case you haven’t caught on yet, is a Pokemon catching game set in the real world, using your phone’s camera and GPS to track your steps and place Pokemon in your way. You then battle the Pokemon and catch it by swiping across your screen to throw the Poke ball.
Whatever your age bracket, here are our tips and tricks for you to stay safe and healthy while out to “be the very best!”
1. Wear sun protection. Sunblock, hat, sunglasses, protective clothing, proper shoes.
We’ve heard cases of sunburned feet because the Pokemon Go player was only wearing flip-flops. As with other outdoor activities, be mindful of the sun beating down on your face, the back of your neck, and arms and feet.
Shoes also help you navigate terrain. If you’re catching water Pokemon, go for waterproof boots. If you’ll be walking a lot, well-padded, lightweight cross-trainers will serve you best.
2. Bring water and snacks–not just power banks!
There’s a reason Ash Ketchum wears a backpack! Not just Poke balls in there. Stay hydrated and fed while on Pokemon Go. Pack protein or granola bars, apples, oranges, bananas, sandwiches, or crackers, a Gatorade and plenty of water.
3. Keep your head up.
Bending your neck is not safe and would only shorten your endurance. You’d be having neck pain before long. Stay comfortable as you walk by keeping your head up. Bring your phone up to chin level and move your eyes, not your head, to look down at your screen.
4. Use headphones. And only in one ear.
If a Pokemon appears, your phone will alert you with a sound! No need to glue your eyes to the screen. Enjoy the walk. Take in the scenery. This is how you avoid getting hit by a car and inconveniencing other people– and you stay aware of your surroundings. Very important.
5. Always warm up and stretch. Pace yourself. Train for terrain.
Pokemon Go is an exercise. You walk a lot and even bend over as you try to catch Pokemon. Do simple calf and thigh stretching to prepare your muscles and avoid cramps. Think of your fitness level and slowly level up to more strenuous locations and hikes. Train! Go on a treadmill, elliptical, or Stairmaster, lift weights to build your strength.
After longer hunts for Pokemon, don’t forget to stretch again, especially your calf muscles. If you don’t, you might be out of the hunt the next day. You don’t want that.
6. Nocturnal and Water Pokemon
Go to well-populated spots that never sleep. They’re well-lit, with visible security cameras and personnel, a wide pedestrian lane.
Tell someone where you’re going and stay there. Tell someone what time you’ll be home and stick to it. This establishes trust and peace of mind for your parents/housemates. If you’ll be late, tell them.
Wear light-colored clothes and reflectives.
Bring flashlights and glow sticks.
ALWAYS wear lifejackets if you go on a boat.
Don’t go on a boat if the water is otherwise deserted. Who’d help if something happens to you/your boat?
As much as possible, have a friend or a group with you, with a spotter or designated lookout.
Oh, and the rule about stranger danger applies! Pokemon Go is social, but be safe and use common sense when interacting with other players.